Powerboat certification for disabled people soon to be available across the country

The Wheelyboat Trust Logo

The Wheelyboat Trust delighted to support the RYA’s new powerboating scheme at the Southampton Boat Show (15-24 September 2017)

As one of Europe’s largest purpose-built marinas welcomes back the world renowned international Southampton Boat Show, a national charity The Wheelyboat Trust also returns to the city. This year, the Trust is delighted to be working alongside the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) which is launching a new disabled boating certification scheme Powerability.

For over 30 years the charity has been making boating accessible for disabled people through its specially adapted Wheelyboats. However, Powerability is an important milestone in further broadening accessibility, as for the first time disabled people will be able to undertake recognised RYA training and acquire specially developed certification in powerboat skippering.

Andy Beadsley, Director of The Wheelyboat Trust says: “We are excited to witness the launch of the RYA’s new Powerability Scheme. For people with a disability, it’s not just about getting on and off the boat that’s important but being able to have to have full control. We’re delighted to be able to support the RYA to roll out this important scheme to a large number of organisations operating Wheelyboats across the UK”

“This scheme, as well as highlighting our purpose-built powerboat, the Coulam Wheelyboat V20, to activity centres and Sailability groups across the UK, will have a very positive impact on the involvement of disabled individuals in water-based activities. Having a berth at the Southampton Boat Show is a fantastic opportunity that allows us to raise awareness about our cause and encourage everyone and anyone to get out on the water.”

Joff McGill, RYA Sailability Manager says: “This fantastic scheme will provide many disabled people the opportunity to develop their powerboating skills and track their progress. The scheme dovetails into the internationally recognised RYA training schemes and is a great stepping stone that increases accessibility.”

The Wheelyboat Trust is a registered charity that works to help venues and organisations acquire accessible boats for disabled people, so that everyone can enjoy water-based activities. At this year’s Southampton Boat Show, the Trust will be showcasing its Coulam Wheelyboat V20, demonstrating the craft’s remarkable versatility. Apart from powerboating, fishing and general leisure pursuits, the boat can also be used as rescue and safety craft, water taxi, workboat, harbour launch or cargo carrier.

The Trust can be found at marina berth no M642, which is kindly sponsored by Suzuki GB.  Visitors will be able to find out more about the Trust’s work and go for a test-ride in the first bow-loading Wheelyboat in GRP. The Coulam Wheelyboat V20 is designed for use on inland and inshore waters and powered by one of Suzuki’s lightweight and fuel-efficient 90hp four stroke outboard motors, it can reach speeds of up to 30mph.

The Wheelyboat Trust relies on the support of individuals, companies and charitable organisations to fund its activities. Donations can be made in a variety of ways including online atwww.wheelyboats.org/donate.html.

-ENDS-

Media Contacts

Jane Bevan or Adela Cragg, Firebird Public Relations

T: 01235 835297 / 07977 459 547

E: jb@firebirdpr.co.uk / ac@firebirdpr.co.uk

Available for interview

Andy Beadsley – Director, The Wheelyboat Trust

Joff McGill – RYA Sailability Manager

About The RYA

  • The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national body for all forms of boating, including dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising, RIBs and sports boats, powerboat racing, windsurfing, canal and river boat cruising, and personal watercraft.
  • For more information about the Powerability, RYA’s new disabled boating certification scheme contact Joff McGill – Sailability Manager, Royal Yachting Association E: joff.mcgill@rya.org.uk)

About The Wheelyboat Trust

  • The Wheelyboat Trust is a registered charity, dedicated to providing mobility impaired people, young and old, with the opportunity and freedom to participate in waterborne activities all over the UK.  Its role is to help and encourage venues open to the public to acquire Wheelyboats for their disabled visitors and to help groups and organisations acquire Wheelyboats for their own use.
  • The Wheelyboat Trust was founded in 1984 when it was originally called the Handicapped Anglers Trust. The first Wheelyboat built received its official launch from HRH Prince Charles at Fishmongers’ Hall in London. In 2004, the charity was renamed The Wheelyboat Trust to reflect its broader aims and the clear need for Wheelyboats beyond the fishing lake for disabled, elderly and infirm, families and community groups for recreation and sporting pursuits.
  • The Trust has designed 7 different Wheelyboat models since its work began in 1984: Mk I, Mk II, Mk III, Mk IV, Coulam 15, Coulam 16 and Coulam Wheelyboat V20. 187 Wheelyboats have so far been supplied across the UK, Ireland and Denmark.
  • For more information, visit www.wheelyboats.org

About J M Coulam Boatbuilders

  • Established for 24 years, they are one of the largest small boat builders in the UK having designed and built over 1,000 commercial boats.
  • Specialising in small day hire boats, they have expanded with help from The Wheelyboat Trust into larger commercial craft.
  • All boats are individually built in GRP to customer’s own specification.
  • Their own engineering and stainless steel fabrication shop allows them to custom make fittings and components and almost everything else.
  • They supply custom built trailers for all types of applications and are a leading floating pontoon manufacturer.

About Suzuki:

  • Suzuki has been at the forefront of outboard technology since the launch of its first outboard, the D55, in 1965.
  • The engines used in Suzuki’s range of outboards have always been designed for marine use and all Suzuki four stroke outboards provide quiet, fuel-efficient technology without sacrificing power and performance. So from the lightweight, portable DF2.5 to the award-winning power of the DF300AP Lean Burn, Suzuki has an outboard for every application.

Coulam Wheelyboat V20 technical details:

  • Designer: Andrew Wolstenholme www.wolstenholmedesign.com
  • Boat builder: Jim Coulam www.coulam.co.uk
  • Cost:  Starting price for a Coulam Wheelyboat V20 is £21,000 and can be tailor made to order
  • Materials:  The Coulam Wheelyboat V20 is made from glass fibre, representing a cost-efficient alternative to the increasing price of aluminium which is used to build the earlier Wheelyboat models.
  • Dimensions: The Coulam Wheelyboat V20 is 20 feet long, 7½ feet wide and has a huge 84 square feet of level floor space

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